Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
The claymation series was set in the bedroom of a
human child known only as “The Boy” (Scott McAfee, played in live action on
an actual set). At night, when The Boy was asleep, things in his house would
come to life and have their own adventures and fun. Amongst them were Mr. Bumpy
(Jim Cummings), a sock-eating green monster that lived under The Boy’s bed;
Squishington (Rob Paulsen), a blue blob-like creature that resided in the tank
of the toilet, was a neat-freak and a bit of a coward; and Molly Coddle (Gail
Matthius), The Boy’s sister’s rag doll who had been abused to the point of
falling apart and repaired using a mixture of mismatched parts and served as
the straight man to Bumpy and Squishy’s antics. Disrupting things were their
nemesis the Closet Monster (Cummings), who in the daylight was a pile of dirty clothes and
hangars, and Destructo (also Cummings), a toy robot that acted like a police man and
had it out for Bumpy.
The dreaded Closet Monster.
Pontac and Bleiman pitched their idea to ABC and ABC
readily grasped onto the project, ordering two full seasons before it ever
aired. Securing a proprietary interest in the show allowed the network to
impose some restrictions on the creative process, such as turning Squishington
blue instead of brown and ensuring nothing dangerous was depicted that the
young target audience could imitate and potentially be hurt by. Despite the
restrictions, Pontac and Bleiman were able to bring their vision to screens
Toast gone bad.
Most of the episodes featured two story segments and
a musical number dubbed “Karaoke Café” in which the characters would sing a
song usually relating to the episode’s themes. A couple of the segments
themselves were done as musicals. Most of the songs were original set to
different genres of music, but one episode did feature Alice Cooper’s “School’s
Out.” Music for the show was performed by Wayne Boone, Kevin Konklin, Eric
Ferry and Ray Brinker.
Initially premiering in the early afternoon on
Saturday, the show became a hit for ABC and they quickly moved it to the
morning timeslots. However, the characters first appeared the year
before in one of the set of commercial bumpers throughout ABC’s Saturday
mornings. Reruns were aired in
hour-long blocks leading up to the second season where the show continued to
perform well. While most of the season was new material, several of the
segments and songs were reused from the first. The series might have continued
into a third season, but Disney’s purchase of ABC in 1996 led to a massive
expulsion of non-Disney Saturday morning programs regardless of how
well they were performing.
EPISODE GUIDE (“*” indicates repeated segment):
“Made in Japan / Dr. Coddle, M.D.” (9/10/94) – Bumpy’s mail-away toy
turns out to be a disappointment but strange things begin to happen when it
arrives. / Bumpy eats Molly’s medical instruction books and replaces them with
home improvement manuals.
“Gum Crazy / Baby Snail” (9/17/94) – Bumpy fights with his internal
organs while attempting to remove undigested gum from his stomach. / Bumpy is
left to watch a snail while Squishy looks for the snail’s mother.